Chapter Ten — Part One: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 10/31/2021Foundation Scriptures:
a. Acts 10:1 NKJV — There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment…
b. Cornelius was a noble and high-ranking Italian centurion (captain of 100 men).
c. Acts 10:2 NKJV — …a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.
d. He was a Gentile but not an idolater, having great respect for the God of Israel and putting his belief into action through prayer and generous almsgiving.
e. Acts 10:3 NKJV — About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
f. About 3 PM, he clearly (openly, plainly) saw an angel in a vision.
g. Acts 10:4 NKJV — And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God."
h. His fervent, faithful prayers and generous giving were specially noticed in Heaven.
i. They came up before God as a memorial—a reminder, a remembrance.
j. God could not and would not leave his prayers unanswered or his unselfish giving unrewarded.
k. Acts 10:5-6 NKJV — "Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do."
l. It is given to people—the Body of Christ—to preach the Gospel, but the Lord uses angels to make the connections, whether we see them or not.
m. Acts 10:7-8 NKJV — And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
n. The journey was about 35 miles, and if they travelled all night, they would reach Peter around noon the next day.
o. They were already well on the way when the Lord spoke to Peter.
2. Peter’s Vision.
a. Acts 10:9-10 NKJV — The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance.
b. Peter went up on the rooftop to pray around noon, but he starts feeling very hungry and then he falls (meaning it was involuntary and not of his own doing) into a trance.
c. Wuest Expanded NT puts it this way, “And while they were preparing the meal, he entered into a new experience, that of an individual whose attention has been drawn to and concentrated upon one thing to the degree that he might as well be outside of his body so far as his physical senses registering anything is concerned.”
d. Acts 10:11-12 Wuest — And he views with a critical eye heaven having been opened and a certain container descending, this object being like a sheet, a great one, being let down to the earth by means of four ropes attached to the four corners, in which there were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and birds of the heaven.
e. The clean and unclean animals represented Jews and Gentiles.
f. The Jews were considered clean and the Gentiles unclean.
g. Acts 10:13 NKJV — And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
h. God instructs him to rise, kill—literally, sacrifice—and eat.
i. Peter is understandably perplexed because the Law generally forbids eating sacrificed animals and always forbids unclean animals.
j. Acts 10:14-16 NKJV — But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” 15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
k. God repeats His command three times for confirmation.
l. The vessel, the sheet, came down from Heaven—signifying that it is He Who created each of us.
m. It was taken back up again, signifying that both Jews and Gentiles, together, will return to Him again through the power of the Gospel.
3. One Sheepfold.
a. Jews would not fraternize with Gentiles and would definitely not have entered their house to share a meal.
b. Up till then, for about eight years since the Day of Pentecost, the Gospel was only preached to the Jews, and it had not yet occurred to anyone that the Lord was willing and able to save the Gentiles as well.
c. The Lord was revealing that the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles was broken down by the Blood of Jesus.
d. Ephesians 2:14-18 NKJV — For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
e. They were now joined together into one body, one family, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
f. 1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJV — For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
g. John 10:16 NKJV — And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
h. The sheep, which are not “from this fold” are the Gentiles.